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The Transplanted Gardener: A good judge of sharing

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True to his transplanted Southern roots, Odell McGhee is a passionate proponent of pass-along plants. “I don’t think you should ever have to buy a flower,” he says. “If you have a flower someone likes, give them a little piece. Sharing – that’s what gardening is about.”

This simple act of horticultural presentation will do you good in two ways, Mr. McGhee says:

1) You get this feel-good sense of accomplishment: “Giving someone a plant, and then seeing it grow in their garden, it’s like going over to their house and seeing [your] artwork on their wall. You see it and think: ‘I did that.’ ”

2) Your garden receives an injection of history and character: “When someone gives you a plant, you think of them every time you walk by it. The man who works on my car gave me some plants. I have a couple things my mother gave me before she died. She brought plants on the plane. I’ve got rocks from people in my former office. I was the crazy guy who wanted rocks. I think of these people every day. It’s history right in the garden. In gardening, you find another way to relate to people.”

McGhee gardens at the Des Moines, Iowa, home he shares with his wife. They do not, however, share garden duties.

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